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SpaceX and the new space race

George Leopold
8/24/2010 06:55 PM EDT

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george.leopold
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re: SpaceX and the new space race
george.leopold   9/1/2010 5:41:23 PM
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Another update: According to reports, SpaceX has requested Oct. 23 as the launch date for its second Falcon 9 rocket. The flight will seek to place SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule into orbit. It is believed that the orbital flight test also will include splashdown and recovery. Stay tuned.

george.leopold
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re: SpaceX and the new space race
george.leopold   8/26/2010 12:25:19 AM
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Elon Musk formed Space Exploration Technologies Corp. with the express purpose of entering the commercial space business. The only ways to survive in that market are to either secure satellite and other payload launch contracts from, say, a telecommunications company, or win development contracts from NASA. SpaceX has NASA's ear as the space agency attempts to fill the gap in access to low-Earth orbit with the retirement of the space shuttle next year. NASA's new focus is sending humans beyond Earth orbit. SpaceX is one of the few potential operators aside from Russia's Soyuz that can ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. We will find out fairly soon whether the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft being tested by SpaceX are up to the task of safely lofting humans into orbit.

Robotics Developer
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re: SpaceX and the new space race
Robotics Developer   8/25/2010 8:20:36 PM
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So if I understand what you are saying: SpaceX while a commercial endeavor is really a private company living off the contracts from NASA? Or does SpaceX make a living providing non-NASA products as well? It is interesting to see the structure and the business model for these type of high cost/risk developments. I agree that crew safety should be the highest concern. I am hopeful that the public / private model for space platform development works and look forward to future news of their success!

george.leopold
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re: SpaceX and the new space race
george.leopold   8/25/2010 12:34:23 AM
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SpaceX is the primary contractor under NASA's Commercial Orbit Transportation Services project. Others could provide supply services to the International Space Station, but SpaceX is essentially the only U.S. player with the potential to carry astronauts to Earth orbit. Congress is still debating whether or if to salvage parts of the canceled Constellation moon rocket program, including the Orion spacecraft. NASA officials and policy makers are gradually shifting their focus to development of a heavy lift capability to send payloads beyond Earth orbit. Meanwhile, the debate over how to ensure crew safety continues.

Robotics Developer
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re: SpaceX and the new space race
Robotics Developer   8/24/2010 8:35:42 PM
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Is SpaceX the only player right now for astronaut transport? I was wondering what, if any other competition there is? Does NASA have any other platforms in the works or is SpaceX using all the available funds? I would like to see the US (NASA or ?) continue to reach out into space both near in orbit and in exploration of other planets (esp. manned exploration). The challenges and technology advancements needed provide benefits to the entire tech community.

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